How Long Do Security Cameras Keep Footage?

Each security setup is different, so predicting “how long footage will be stored” is problematic. However, it is directly proportional to your need for the footage when deciding to store footage.

If you plan to keep footage for no more than a month, you should purchase a cheaper security camera. To store valuable evidence later, you should use a surveillance camera system with a high-definition video that can store indefinitely and longer time. Let’s dig deeper.

What happens to the old security cameras?

Security camera networks generally have a limit to how long they can store video footage. As security footage is saved to SD cards or hard drives, the old footage is overwritten by the new.

security camera

Furthermore, if your storage space is sufficient to store two weeks of surveillance footage, it will be possible to retrieve two weeks at any given time. When dealing with an entire hard drive, you can adjust this setting via your NVR’s web interface and let it overwrite older footage.

Besides, when using an older model, you can delete footage manually, which can be difficult if the NVR doesn’t display how much space is left on its hard drive.

How long do security cameras keep footage?

Generally, it depends on many factors, one of the most important two factors are:

Average industry size

Today, most security cameras record their footage digitally, allowing them to be store for longer. Schools, retail stores, supermarkets, and hotels are some institutions storing video footage differently with different time variation.

Schools, retail stores, supermarkets, hospitals, and hotels keep videos for between 30 and 90 days. As a result, footage can be kept for as little as 7 days or as long as several years, depending on the security needs. Additionally, they are migrating to digital storage as technology advances, allowing them to keep footage for a longer period.

As per Law

No laws restrict surveillance camera storage in the United States, so surveillance cameras may retain video footage as long as necessary. Keep in mind; it is only legal to record people legally in those places unless the person reasonably expects privacy.

Video footage

How is Video footage stored?

First, consider how security cameras store video recordings. Depending on your needs, preferences, and resources, you can store video files in several ways. Modern systems have replaced outdated technologies such as VHS tapes and DVDs for storing the videos of security cameras in disk. However, there are several options available nowadays, including:

  • Hard disk drives
  • SD cards
  • A cloud storage service.

Cloud-based space:

In business, it is a common practice to store camera footage on cloud servers. Many workplaces use this way, allowing a large number of users to access it without compromising security.

Comparison of NVRs and DVRs:

NVRs consist of a network of IP cameras connected by a digital network. This method allows you to access IP footage through your smartphone’s app or browser.

Whereas, digital video recorders (DVRs) use analog security cameras attached by coaxial cable. With cloud technology, more security camera systems offer remote access and convenience, and NVRs can now be found in more security camera systems. Read more about NVR and DVR

SD Card Storage

You can use SD cards as external storage devices to capture and store footage. This is a reasonable option if you want to keep much footage for longer. Also, a SD card is one of the most popular storage options for camera footage. It has a lot of storage capacity and is inexpensive. Check out SD card collection to buy.

How much storage does a security camera have?

The amount of storage required for a camera system depends on several things, such as the storage method, the number of cameras, and the applications. If your security system records footage onto your hard drive, you typically have one week or month of video storage.

Video files cannot be viewed unless uploaded onto an external device, such as a thumb drive or computer. Even though most cameras have built-in memory, so most businesses store security footage on external devices.

Therefore, when purchasing a security camera, you should consider how much storage it offers and what types of storage methods and devices it is compatible with.

What happens to old security Footage?

Your security camera’s hard drive will overwrite older footage with new footage once it reaches its maximum capacity. Since the old video is automatically deleted. That’s why you will always have the most recent video.

You can store video footage within your system’s capacity, but once the old footage has been deleted, you cannot access it again. Alternatively, you can delete the footage manually by adjusting your device’s settings.

You can also read How To Spot A Fake Security Camera (5 Easy Ways)

How do you recover deleted footage?

  • Make sure your computer’s recycle bin is empty. Normally, most data in the recycle bin can be recovered if you have not permanently deleted it by pressing ‘shift + delete.’
  • Recovering deleted videos is possible using Windows file history. To do this, search for File History option in the Windows search field.
  • Use backups to restore deleted CCTV footage. CCTV cameras that are more expensive support multiple storage options, including SD cards, DVRs, NVRs, cloud storage, and FTP servers. There should be a way to locate deleted footage since it is stored in various locations.
  • With the help of data recovery service providers, you can recover deleted footage from DVR or NVR. These devices may also lose recordings if they are physically damaged. In this case, an expert in data recovery may be able to recover any lost or damaged recordings from this type of device.
  • Third-party software is the best way to retrieve lost CCTV footage.
  • You should consult a certified professional when you are in doubt or unable to recover missing video content. Certified data recovery experts can recover deleted data from encrypted storage securely.

The Bottom Line

Security cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your property or business, but how long do they typically store footage? The answer is that security cameras can store footage for anywhere from 30 days to 2 years. This depends on the camera model and storage capacity, so it’s important to know what you’re getting before making a purchase.

We hope the above guide has helped!

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Bobby Taylor

Bobby Taylor

I'm Bobby Taylor, a tech lover, writer, and editor for Smart Home Protector. I am also a customer relationship officer of a well established electronics manufacturer company in the United States.

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